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Hot Stock News for Options Traders

Dow Jones Industrial Average Up Ahead of Yellen, Chicago PMI

Japan's Nikkei logged its worst quarterly loss in nearly two years

by 3/31/2014 8:05:20 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is pointed higher this morning, as traders take a glass-half-full approach to stimulus speculation from overseas. Stateside, investors are awaiting an early morning speech from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who is slated to take the podium at 9:55 a.m. ET. Also in focus will be the Chicago purchasing managers index (PMI) and the Dallas Fed's manufacturing survey, which are both due out after the opening bell.

Meanwhile, "I'm still keeping a close eye on the 1,840 area on the S&P 500 Index (SPX)," said Schaeffer's Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp. "The Russell 2000 Index (RUT) and the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) have broken key support already, but the S&P 500 is hanging in thus far."

Plus, our Trading Topic of the Week -- Trading Low-Priced Options: DO target smaller stocks with the potential for big gains. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement surrounding big-name, high-dollar stocks like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Remember, though -- a small-cap stock trading at $10 per share needs to rise only 10 points to double in value.

And now, on to the numbers...

Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P and Nasdaq futures

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) are roughly 58 points above breakeven.

Market Statistics

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,132,631 call contracts traded on Friday, compared to 728,463 put contracts. The resultant single-session put/call ratio jumped to 0.64, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.59.

NYSE and Nasdaq summary

Volatility indices

From the Trading Floor

"New short interest data came out last week, and the S&P 500 components saw yet another spike in aggregate short interest, meaning people are still actively betting against the market," continued Sapp. "Should the market find some footing and shake off the recent fear from Ukraine and the overall weakness in technology stocks, there is now even more potential buying power on the sidelines than before."

Currencies and Commodities

  • The U.S. dollar index is down 0.2% in pre-market trading, with the currency last seen at 80.03.
  • Elsewhere, crude oil is poised to pare a portion of last week's gains, with crude for May delivery 0.4% lower at $101.27 per barrel.
  • Gold futures, meanwhile, are flirting with a 0.2% lead ahead of the bell, with the front-month contract hovering around $1,296.30 an ounce.
Currencies and commodities

Earnings and Economic Data

Today's economic calendar includes the Chicago PMI and the Dallas Fed's manufacturing survey. Elsewhere, Cal-Maine Foods (CALM) will release quarterly earnings.

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